Traditional Italian Reinterpreted @ Bene, Sheraton Bangalore

It’s Italian food festival time at the Sheraton Bangalore again! Chef Fabio Colace is here from the Sheraton Roma to orchestrate a series of delectable delights for us Bangaloreans. At a Chef’s Table preview, we were treated to a four course meal; a peek at the menu created for the fest, which, alongside some regular items like pizzas, has a range of Chef Fabio’s choices. Fresh bread served with 3 dips were brought to our table at once, and my favorite from the dips was the parsley butter. Our food was accompanied by red and white wine (Primo Amore, if memory serves) as we proceeded through the courses.

Mushroom Log
Mushroom Log

We began with Il Fungo Porcino, potatoes filled with mushrooms in a parsley sauce. This was presented as a mushroom capped tower, with par boiled potatoes that had been tunneled into and stuffed with finely chopped mushrooms. Other than the potatoes being mildly crunchier than they should have been (which was probably done to facilitate the scooping out of the center to create the tunnels) this was a very tasty start to the meal. In traditional Italian fashion, the main course was divided into Primo (pasta in this case) and Secondo (meat). The pasta was surprisingly light, non-stuffed lasagna (La Lasagna “Bene”), created and christened by Chef for the occasion. It featured onions and roasted cherry tomatoes, buffalo milk mozzarella, basil, eggplant and Parmigiano cheese cream. The second course was L’Agnello aka Lamb loin with aromatic herbs, balsamic sauce and potatoes rosti or (well, in the case of us meat eaters, and, since we ordered one portion of the veg entrée on a sharing basis, so we could say we’d eaten it all) Le Pomodoro – Tomato filled with a vegetable caponata, crusted with kataifi. Both these dishes were very, very good. The lamb was served with a whole roasted garlic topped with a sprig of rosemary, that I, and others dug into with gusto. Garlic = Good!

Juicy Lamb
Juicy Lamb

We wished we’d had a chance to try one of the risottos and Pesce or fish courses which looked good on the special menu. For dessert or Le golosita’, Chef sent out Frozen cream with apple and a prosecco sauce (La Crema). I loved the texture of the frozen cream , how it combined with the prosecco, and the way it felt on my tongue, and I think I can best sum up this dessert by saying that one of our lot, who generally stops after a few bites and hands her plate over to us sweet toothers, demolished her helping! Chef Fabio explained his dishes and their history to us, and apart from making his acquaintance when you visit during the festival, you also have the opportunity to participate in some trivia and win coupons for a free glass of wine, a discount on your bill, etc., by taking a stab at naming the herbs from the Sheraton’s herb garden, or answering a few questions about Italy. A splendid meal awaits you, that’s for sure! Oh and on your way out, there is a little gourmet food shopping to be done: cold cuts, breads, sauces and oils.

Photos courtesy Ruth D’souza Prabhu

 

Natasha Ali

Natasha's first foray into food writing has been with Chef at Large. Who knew all those years spent eating food, reading about it and looking for the next restaurant to try or watching cooking shows would have left such an indelible impression?! She's back in India after having spent over a decade in the US where she studied as well as taught in academia and now works as a content writer seeing as she can write about pretty much anything. Movie mad, obsessed with the English language, and never one to turn down a glass of good wine, cup of tea, or a good book, she's open to trying any dish once, she enjoys a variety of cuisines with favorites being Ethiopian, Thai, and Lebanese. Natasha covers Bangalore for Chef at Large and can be reached at natasha.ali@www.chefatlarge.in